He is one of the most recognisable superheroes worldwide, regularly appears in a comic book strip and even has a successful film franchise. Earlier this year, Batman celebrated his 75th anniversary and he certainly doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Check out our Caped Crusader top facts:
1. There is a real-life Batcave.
Chris Weir of Middletown, Delaware, USA has his very own Batcave in the basement of his home.
The mega fan built his very own secret lair for an estimated £95,000. It includes a 100-inch TV screen where Chris watches Batman with his wife and two sons.
His Batcave even has rows of cinema seats for guests and a functioning bar. What’s more, a secret room filled with Batman memorabilia can be opened with the press of a red button.
2. Dark Knight Rises is the tenth highest-grossing movie of all-time.
The 2012 film is the highest-grossing Batman movie of all-time, narrowly ahead of the Dark Knight (2008) which sits in 19th position. These are two out of the 19 Batman films made to have grossed more than €1 billion.
3. Use the force, Batman.
The original Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill, voiced the Joker in the early nineties animated Batman TV series, as well for the video games Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City.
4. Batman fans killed Robin.
In 1988 readers were given the choice on what happened to Batman’s sidekick. In the short comic book series, A Death in the Family, the fate of Jason Todd (the second incarnation of Robin) was decided by readers who called up special hotline numbers to choose whether the character should live or die.
Over 10,000 votes were cast with the majority voting for Jason to be killed off. He was promptly gone.
5. IGN rate him as the second greatest character of all time.
In a list of their top 100 comic book heroes, IGN ranked Batman as the second greatest character of all time. The mega-popular entertainment website describes Batman as “the world’s greatest detective”, “the world’s premier martial artist” and “the world’s broodiest billionaire.”
IGN ranked Superman at number one. We can live with that.
6. The Secret Headquarters went public in issue #83.
The Batcave made its debut in January 1944 in the Detective Comic book issue #83. Consisting of a series of subterranean caves beneath his residence, Wayne Manor, the secret headquarters of the caped crusader made its debut five years after the comic book hero himself.
The early version of the cave was described as Batman’s underground study and consisted of a desk and filing cabinets. The entrance was via a bookcase which led to a secret elevator. Over the decades, the cave has expanded to include a vast trophy room, supercomputer and forensics lab.
7. The Bat-signal made appeared in issue #60.
Batman gifted the Bat-signal to Gotham City Police as a way for them to call Batman when the city is in danger. The Bat-signal works by projecting the symbol of a bat into the sky or onto buildings in Gotham City.
8. Batman made his debut in May 1939.
Yes, Batman made his first appearance in ‘The Case of the Chemical Syndicate’ Detective Comics book issue #27, the same year WW2 started.
The caped crusader makes an immediate impact, saving a businessman from being murdered and incapacitating two enemies to solve a crime. In the same comic it is also revealed that billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne is none other than Batman himself.
9. Bruce Wayne was inspired by a Scottish hero.
Writer Bill Finger came up with the name Bruce Wayne for his character via inspiration from Scottish hero Robert Bruce and US Army Major General Mad Anthony Wayne. Finger is quoted as saying:
“Bruce Wayne’s first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Bruce, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock … then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne.”
10. Batkid saves San Francisco!
In a heart-warming story from November 2013, the Mark-A-Wish Foundation granted the wish of a five-year old leukemia patient, Miles Scott, who wished to be Batman’s sidekick. More than 16,000 people RSVP’d to get in on the act which saw Miles turning up at City Hall to receive the key to the city from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.
More than half-a-million Tweets containing #SFBatkid/#Batkid were sent out across 117 countries.
11. Batman once confronted Hitler.
His only confrontation with the Nazi leader was on the front cover of World’s Finest issue #9, where Robin and Superman and Batman are shown throwing baseballs at their enemies.
12. Batman originally killed the criminals.
Hurling them off rooftops, kicking them so hard he broke their necks, punching a criminal into a vat of acid and even strangling them to death with his lasso – Batman used to kill criminals. In Batman #1, he even kills a bunch of henchmen with a machine gun.
13. Batman fought Dr. Doom before the Fantastic Four.
In April 1950 in the Detectives Comics book issue #158 when Batman and Robin are bringing another trophy into the Batcave, the Fantastic Four’s archenemy Dr. Doom sneaks inside the secret lair. His attempts to kill the two comic book heroes backfire and he ends up dying.
The Fantastic Four would not debut until 1961.
14. The Joker’s real identity is still not known.
Bruce Wayne is the man behind Batman. Robin’s real name is Dick Grayson (other Robins included Jason Todd and Tim Drake). Catwoman is Selena Kyle, Penguin is Oswald Cobblepot, The Riddler: Edward Nigma and Two-Face was Harvey Dent.
As for The Joker though – Batman’s supervillain has no real identity.
15. Batman used to be a gunslinger.
These days Batman despises guns and refuses to use them. His hatred spurs from seeing his parents killed by guns. However, in his early days as a detective, he used to carry a six-gun at his side. Eventually Bob Kane changed this, citing it didn’t “feel right”.
16. Batman’s infamous utility belt debuted in 1939.
The belt debuted in Detective Comics issue #29.
In its first appearance, the utility belt contained choking gas capsules. Two issues later and the Batarang makes its first appearance in the story ‘Batman vs. the Vampire’. Up until 1989, the belt had predominantly been yellow with a buckle and capsules attached to it.
17. Batman originally had no cape.
Bob Kane’s original drawings of Batman saw the comic book hero wearing red tights with bat wings. Bill Finger replaced the bright colours with a darker costume and later added his famous cape which was inspired by Zorro, the Bat Whispers, The Circular Staircase, Sherlock Holmes and Leonardo da Vinci’s Ornithopter.
18. Batman shares his name with a city in…Turkey.
There is a city in the south eastern region of Turkey called Batman!
19. Batman comic fetches 6 digits.
A copy of the first-ever comic book starring Batman recently for more than $1 million in 2010. Heritage Auction Galleries said the comic sold at auction in Dallas for more than $1,075,500 – setting a record for the amount paid for a comic.
20. Batman has an estimated IQ over 200 – that’s higher than Albert Einstein!
Batman’s IQ is estimated to be 192, although it’s possibly well over 200. The comic book hero as genius intellect and excels in his detective, strategist, scientific and tactical skills. Widely regarded as one of the greatest analytical minds on the planet, Batman’s lack of superpowers means he often has to use his cunning plans to outwit his enemies.
Our guest writer Barrie is from Simoney Badges, who recently ranked Batman as their number one comic book hero! The Simoney team are fond of a number of comic book heroes but the Caped Crusader comes out on top after years of reading the awesome magazines and watching all of the great movies (well, Batman and Robin was all right…).